“Scaling Pockets of Excellence in NC” begins work with meeting at NCCAT | NCCAT

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“Scaling Pockets of Excellence in NC” begins work with meeting at NCCAT

Educators met at NCCAT in December for the beginning of the "Scaling Pockets of Excellence in NC" program.

CULLOWHEE (January 5, 2015)–Twelve educators from Western North Carolina met over three days in December to begin planning for the “Scaling Pockets of Excellence in NC” program. They worked on the plan at the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching, a national leader in professional development.

The program is led by Ben Owens, a physics and mathematics teacher at Tri-County Early College High School in Murphy and NCCAT alumnus. Owens is a National Teacher Fellow with The Hope Street Group. His idea is to provide teacher professional development for teachers, by teachers that allows them to see great practices and put them to use in their classroom. The pilot program includes four school districts: Buncombe, Cherokee, McDowell and Swain.

“We anticipate that it will be successful because anytime teachers can see their peers doing excellent work it helps spread that out,” Owens said. “We’re hoping to improve student outcomes. By improving students' outcomes we can improve their economic circumstance and help North Carolina be competitive in the 21st century.

NCCAT Center Fellow Donna Glee Williams helped lead the group, which Owens said got off to a great start.

“It has been phenomenal,” Owens said. “I’m very optimistic about the group we have and what we can accomplish. We’re already talking about what data we would need to scale up the program statewide.”

For more information on “Scaling Pockets of Excellence” contact Ben Owens at [email protected].


Increasing teacher effectiveness is fundamental to improving public education. NCCAT provides teachers with new knowledge, skills, teaching methods, best practices and information to take back to their classrooms. For more information about NCCAT’s professional development programs, visit www.nccat.org or call 828-293-5202.

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